What is digital fingerprinting?
Digital fingerprinting is the electronic capture of a person’s fingerprints via an optical scanner at a capture station. The scanned fingerprints, along with the application details, are then formatted into a standardized electronic package that is attached and emailed, via a secure link, directly to the RCMP’s Canadian Criminal Real Time Information System, (CCRTIS).
CCRTIS compares the fingerprint package against the RCMP’s criminal record database. If no record is present, the RCMP will issue a certificate indicating a clear record. If the applicant has a criminal record, this will be indicated in the results.
Will the results of my fingerprints include a transcript?
Yes. Fingerprint results will include a transcript. A transcript is a record of the applicant's criminal record and will clearly indicate either a clean record, or it will list convictions. The transcript also details the nature of the conviction(s). This transcript is released to the applicant, or it can be released to third parties if the applicant provides consent at the time of fingerprinting.
Who needs fingerprints?
- Employment with Corporations and Agencies
With the need for greater security, many corporations and agencies now require both employees and volunteers to be fingerprinted.
- Applicants for Foreign Travel, Passports, Work Permits, Visas and US Waivers
Anyone wishing to visit or work in other countries may be required to provide a criminal record check. While some countries accept criminal record checks done with only your name and birth date, others require that the process be done through fingerprinting. Obtaining a 192 waiver to travel to the United States requires fingerprints.
- Citizenship, Permanent Resident & Immigration Applicants
Applicants for Canadian citizenship, permanent residence or those immigrating to Canada may be required to provide a criminal record check with fingerprints.
- International Adoption Applicants
Prior to completing adoption proceedings, applicants who wish to adopt a child from a foreign country are required to provide a criminal record check with fingerprints.
- Security License Applicants
Regulations in some provinces require individuals in security-related positions to provide a criminal record check with fingerprints for the application process.
How long will it take for digital fingerprints to be processed by the RCMP?
If the applicant does not have a criminal record and has never been fingerprinted for a criminal offence in Canada, the RCMP will make every effort possible to process the request within 72 hours of receiving the electronic submission. (This means that the RCMP will mail the results back to the applicant or third party within 72 hours.) In view of this, please allow sufficient time for receipt of the results in the mail before inquiring about the status of fingerprints. If a criminal record is encountered during the verification process, processing will be increased to 120 days.
How long will it take for traditional ink-and-roll fingerprints to be processed by the RCMP?
Paper-based fingerprint submissions for a criminal record verification take an average of 120 days to complete for individuals that do not have a criminal record and have never been fingerprinted for a criminal offence in Canada. If a criminal record is encountered during the verification process, the turnaround time may exceed 120 days.
Ink-and-roll fingerprints can be converted to digital at a Commissionaires office. Processing would then be within the 72 hour timeframe.
Can all applicants choose digital fingerprints?
Digital fingerprinting is available to most applicants for most applications. However, in some cases, e.g., submissions to FBI, applicants cannot choose digital fingerprinting. For these situations, Commissionaires offers traditional ink-and-roll fingerprinting. Our fingerprinting professionals can advise you on whether you may choose digital fingerprinting or if you must use traditional ink-and-roll fingerprinting.
How can I find out about the status of a submission once it has been sent to the RCMP?
Clients (e.g., applicant or authorized third party) may inquire about the status of their digital and/or traditional ink-and-roll submission by contacting the RCMP Civil Fingerprint Screening Services at 613 998 6362 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do applicants need an appointment?
Appointments are recommended although some locations welcome walk-ins. Please check locations to confirm hours of operation and determine if an appointment is necessary.
How long will it take to get fingerprints taken?
Our digital process is fast, efficient and clean, taking approximately 20 minutes to complete. Our traditional ink-and-roll fingerprinting service takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.
How are results obtained?
Each applicant’s criminal record verification results can be sent directly to the individual or to a designated third party, such as an employer or immigration or pardons agency. If an applicant is under the age of 18, results must be returned directly to the home address. Please ensure that address information for the applicant and third party are ready during the application process.
Can applicants get a copy of the application?
Applicants can receive a true copy of the digital submission to the RCMP, or a copy of the ink-and-roll submission. An additional charge may apply.
Is Commissionaires a government agency?
Commissionaires is not a government agency. Commissionaires is a not-for-profit organization employing veterans of the Canadian Forces and RCMP, as well as responsible citizens of all ages and backgrounds.